Stephen Schwartz Celebrate WICKED During Oz-stravaganza In Chittenango, NY
Legendary Broadway and Hollywood songwriter Stephen Schwartz was announced today as special guest of the annual "OZ-Stravaganza!"/WIZARD OF OZ festival, June 1-3, in Chittenango, NY. The Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer/lyricist will take part in two separate events on Saturday and Sunday that weekend, celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of WICKED, which opened on Broadway in 2003. The musical is among Schwartz's greatest international successes, recounting the saga of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch in the Land of Oz. Chittenango, just east of Syracuse, is the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, who introduced those characters in his iconic children's book, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ (1900).
Schwartz will appear onstage at OZ-Stravaganza! on Saturday evening, June 2nd, to discuss his score for WICKED, the show's ceaseless appeal, and its forthcoming film version. (WICKED includes such classic Schwartz compositions as "Defying Gravity," "Popular," "For Good," and "The Wizard and I.") On Sunday, June 3rd, Schwartz will offer a special meet-and-greet autograph session for fans at Chittenango's All Things Oz Museum from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Tiffany Hass and Michael McCorry Rose, who starred in WICKED on Broadway as Glinda and Fiyero, will also be spotlighted at the 2018 OZ-Stravaganza! In addition to their own meet-and-greet appearances in Oz Park on Friday and Saturday afternoons -- and participation in the annual OZ Parade on Saturday at 2 o'clock -- Haas and Rose will precede Schwartz onstage on Saturday evening. The Schwartz, Haas, and Rose interviews will be conducted by Emmy Award-winning producer, best-selling author, and Oz historian John Fricke. (Fricke currently serves as creative consultant for the new musical about the teenage Judy Garland, CHASING RAINBOWS: THE ROAD TO OZ.)
In addition to the score for WICKED, Stephen Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER'S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS, and CHILDREN OF EDEN. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein's MASS and wrote the title song for the play and movie BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, CAPTAIN LOUIE and MY SON PINOCCHIO. Schwartz has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's ENCHANTED, as well as for the animated features POCAHONTAS and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. For DreamWorks, he wrote the songs for their animated feature, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. His first opera, SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, DEFYING GRAVITY, has been released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His honors include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies. For further information about Stephen Schwartz: http://www.stephenschwartz.com
2018 marks Chittenango's forty-first annual celebration of native son, L. Frank Baum, the "Royal Historian of Oz." For further information about OZ-Stravaganza! and its specific 2018 schedule of events: www.oz-stravaganza.com. To read John Fricke's All Things Oz Blog, please visit www.allthingsoz.org
Photo Credit: Joan Lauren